City-based spor ts enthusiasts and associations are not happy with the Supreme Court’s recent judgment barring use of bulls in races across the country.
The decision was taken kee ping in mind the animal protection rights. But members of some sports bodies feel that this judgment will impact the world-known Kila Raipur games that are held every year at Kil a Raipur village near Ludhiana.
Paramjeet Singh Grewal, general secretary, Grewal Sports Association, Kila Raipur, said, “The bullock-cart-race was banned earlier, for a year, but we won the case, and managed to organise the event this year. Moreover, during races we make sure that our bulls are properly fed and taken care of. We do not lay any cruelty on them.”
Grewal said, “A meeting involving all members of the association will discuss the matter at length. We will also try to know whether the grounds on which the ban was imposed again were valid or not. Thereafter, we might file a petition to follow up with the matter further.”
Jasbeer Singh Bittu, president, Bull Racing Committee, Punjab, said, “We very much know and operate within our legal boundaries. We take all possible measures to keep a check while conducting bull race or time events during numerous competitions throughout the year.”
“Things have improved a lot after the earlier ban imposed on bull races. Nothing is being done to harm the animals,” Bittu said.
Gurmail Singh of Jhandiyan Kalan village, Rupnagar, who has been visiting other villages as a timekeeper in the games for the past 34 years, said, “Banning bullock-cart races will have a ne gative impact on Punjab’s heritage. Holding bullock-cart race events in a way is a perfect medium to carry forward the legacy of Punjab.”
Singh said, “These bulls are raised by their owners like their own kids with number of men at constant service for years with best quality of food for them. SC’s move will definitely take away the charm of hundreds of rural fairs happening throughout the year.”
It is pertinent to mention that the constant endeavours of the statutory body, Animal Welfare Board of I ndi a (AWBI) and People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), India, seeking ban on the undue cruel behavior with innocent animals, succeeded on May 7, when SC categorically banned any kind of cruelty imposed on animals.
Anjali Sharma, a member of the Animal Welfare Board of India, and a Delhi-based lawyer, who fought the case, said, “It is a rare decision by the SC. Right to Life is a constitutional right of animals just like humans. Animals do feel hunger, love and cruelty done to them. So, the decision of banning of bull races or bullock cart races and fights is a victory for animals.”